Posted by: the3rdi | April 4, 2011

Not a budget for families

Working Families, the UK’s leading work-life charity which supports and gives a voice to working parents and carers, responds to the budget 2011

Responding to the budget, Working Families Chief Executive Sarah Jackson said:

“This is not a budget for families. The Chancellor recognises that families need help with the high cost of living but he has done nothing to ease parents’ struggle with rising childcare costs. Increasing personal tax allowances are good for those in work, but the childcare cuts due next month will lead low income parents – particularly mothers – to give up work. Savings from squeezing childcare tax credits will be offset by the loss of income tax revenue as parents leave their jobs.

“The moratorium on any new domestic employment laws for three years for micro businesses is disappointing. There is a danger that there will be a bigger gap between the best employers and the rest. Good employers know that offering strong employee benefits boosts commitment and performance. It is a shame that the Government don’t encourage all employers – of whatever size – to heed the business case that flexible working is good for the bottom line. Instead, they have unpicked their earlier commitment to parents to extend flexible working for parents of 17 year olds.”

Additional Information:

In April 2011 the childcare element of Working Tax Credit fall from 80 % of childcare costs (up to a limit) to 70%. The Resolution Foundation estimates that the average household will lose out on £440 a year but that this could be up to £1,300 a year in childcare tax credit. Netmums survey found 68 % of mothers will have to make changes to the childcare arrangements and that 22% said that they will have to give up their jobs. (reported in The Telegraph 15 March 2011)

On Friday 18th March the Government confirmed that they will repeal regulations (which they had previously introduced) to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of 17 year olds. (http://www.bis.gov.uk/news/topstories/2011/Mar/Government-bins-business-red-tape))

The Government has announced “When we consult on extending the right-to-request legislation to all employees, we will also consult on whether there should be an exemption for micro-businesses” Edward Davey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs), Business, Innovation and Skills; Kingston and Surbiton, Liberal Democrat) House of Commons Debate, 22 March 2011, c202WH.

Additionally, “The Government has no plans to exempt micro-businesses from current statutory maternity or parental leave provisions”. Edward Davey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs), Business, Innovation and Skills; Kingston and Surbiton, Liberal Democrat) House of Commons Debate, 22 March 2011, c1070W

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